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who lost her small children in a bathroom and promised they would live to see christmas. >> telling them it's going to be okay, you're going to be all right. >> at the white house, today the president, weeping. >> the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. >> our abc news team here to bring you the latest on the worst shooting at an elementary school in american history as "world news" begins tonight. >> from abc news, this is a special edition of "world news" with diane sawyer, tragedy at the elementary school. reporting from connecticut, diane sawyer. >> good evening, welcome to a special edition of "world news" in newtown, connecticut, the site of a mass shooting and gunfire aimed at elementary school children. we're in front of the united
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methodist church where people are gathering all even long as details are still pouring in. 27 victims, 20 children, seven adults and we heard all day about the incredible response by teachers inside the school which is considered one of the leading schools in the nation. and also tonight, we have a new image of the suspected shooter, as we tell you everything we know about who did it, what kind of weapons and why. and we begin all of this with between between anchor chris cuomo and he's here with me. >> almost unimaginable scene. what we know so far is inside this elementary school, young kid process tektd by their teachers and there was one deranged man who decided to take it all away. >> this morning, the school was filled with kids concerned about christmas. then shots rang out. >> the individual i have on the
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phone is continuing to hear what what he believes is gun fire. >> reporter: inside, little kids are uner attack. >> we heard all this racket. >> horrible things are happening. teachers make sure they're safe and do the unimaginable. >> reporter: what the teacher do then? >> she read us some books and we talked about things and played little games in there. >> reporter: did you hear any more bad noises? >> yes. >> reporter: the teachers' calm is matched by a police of storm activity, word of possibly two shooters sparks searches of the surrounding area. children rushed out of the school, single-file hands on shoulder, eyes squeezed shut. >> we got in line and we had to close our eyes. >> reporter: how did you find your way out with your eyes closed? >> we all put our hands on other people's shoulders and then our teacher hold the first person's
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hand and she led us out. >> chaos. complete chaos. nobody knew where anyone was, mob scene of children and police and adults. >> reporter: ella's mom and dozens of other families search for their kids as information starks to trickle in. >> i heard that children were taken out bloody. >> very scared, worried about my son, worried about the other kids i know here. >> it was terrifying, i'm still terrified. i'm still in shock about it all. i still don't know everything that happened. >> reporter: a situation that couldn't be any more terrifying. kids at the mercy of a deranged gunman. and yet, it keeps getting worse. >> i need units in the school. i got bodies here. >> reporter: among the dead 20shgs-year-old gunman adam lanza, his mother a teachers an aide at the elementary school. he came with a bulletproof vest and two semi automatic guns possibly an assault rifle. he killed so many of the kids she loved. >> very difficult scene for the family members, responding first
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responders, a tragedy. a tragic scene. >> reporter: and yet, many more survive, like little ella who will still have a chance at a merry christmas. >> it's over. okay? you know that now? >> yes. >> reporter: all of the survivors, they are so young and that makes it so tragic and at the same time families hoping they're young enough to forget and move on with their lives. >> tell us the latest details what we learned about why and motive of the suspected shooter. >> reporter: always so important us to, one thing we can learn in the situation, what drove this person to this horrible thing and yet now it's getting more confusing. authorities now believe that the gunman's mother was found killed in her home. not at the school. so, the question remains larger than ever y did this man go to the school? why did he attack the kids with such intensity? >> so many young kids. we know details are still coming in, as we've been saying and we'll bring you up to date
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through this hour in this special broadcast. as we drove in to town you saw the beautiful hills coming into this incredibly wonderful town and tonight, we see the flags at half staff right here in newtown and across the country the flags are also at half-staff as today president obama addressed the nation. tearing up as he talked about the grieving parents and their small children. >> the majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. they had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.
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>> as we have said all day, we have met people that remind us what teachers do, how much they care even in the face of terror and i sat down with a first grade teacher at that school, kaitlin roig, she heard gun fire, large windows exposed her cla classroom so she managed to rush 15 small children into a tiny bathroom to try to save their lives. >> i put one of my students on top, i knew we had to get in there, i told them it's going to be okay. you'll be all right. i pulled a book shelf in front of it so we were completely barricaded in. i turned the lights off. >> reporter: did you tell them to be quiet? did you worry -- >> i told them to be quiet, absolutely quiet. because i was just so afraid if he came in and hear us and start shooting the door. i said we have to be absolutely quiet and we have -- i said there are bad guys out there and we need to wait for the good
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guys. i wanted us to be okay. and i was so saddened there were people who in this situation are not okay. and my heart goes out to anyone who knew them and was part of their lives. i can't imagine. >> reporter: did they cry? >> if they started crying i would take their face and say it's going to be okay, show me your smile. i really tried -- one of my students would say like i know cakarat karate, i'll lead the way out. >> reporter: they really said to you, we want to go home for christmas? >> oh, yeah. i just want to hug my mom, things like that, that were just, it's heartbreaking. because you're hearing -- i've never been part of something anywhere near this traumatic and so i'm hearing the gunfire in
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the hallway, i'm in the first classroom. why isn't he coming? i'm thinking we're next. in my mind i'm thinking, as a 6-year-old, 7-year-old, what are your thoughts? and thinking that i have to almost be their parent, i have to tell them -- i said i need you to know that i will love you all very much and that it's going to be okay. i now the that was the last thing they were ever going to hear. i thought we were all going to die. i don't know if that's okay, teachers, i wanted them to know someone loved them and i wanted that to be one of the last things they heard, not the g gunfire in the hallway. so horrible. horrible. horrible, horrible. >> reporter: how did you know you were going to be okay? >> i didn't. what finally happened, guntire stopped, it wasn't that long, that stopped but i said we're not going anywhere, we're staying here until someone good
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gets us out. so, eveveneventually the police and started knocking and i was completely beside myself, i said i don't believe you. put your badges under the door. they put their badges under the door. i said if you're really a police officer you would have a way to get n a key or gotten it, if everything is okay you would have found the keys. he found the right one and unlocked the door and they brought us out to the firehouse with the rest of the teachers and students waiting for parents to come and pick them up. >> reporter: i think a lot of people who wish, want all of the teachers to know how much it means to them how much much they care about their children. >> how could you not? >> reporter: thank you. >> thank you. and she only spoke, she said, because she wants us to know this is a school of
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teachers who care so much about each other and their students. she waited to pay tribute to all of them tonight and she is praying for all of those who are grieving. and as chris said earlier we're still getting new details about the suspected shooter, adam lanza, so many questions about who he is, what may have driven him do this, abc's chief investigative reporter brian ross tracking reports as they come in. he has the latest. >> reporter: tonight police identified the shooter as 20-year-old adam lanza in a picture here taken 7 years ago and provided to abc news by a family friend. a relative told abc news that dam was obviously not well. something we also heard from family friends in newtown who described the young man as troubled, described his mother nancy as very rigid. this all took place in this tiny connecticut town, a shooting spree that ended at the elementary school but first began at the lanza family home, which was nearby. police late today said his
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mother's body was found in the family home. state and federal authorities believe his mother may have once worked at the elementary school where adam went on his deadly rampage, although he was not a teacher, perhaps a volunteer. authorities also searched the new jersey apartment of adam's older brother ryan in hoboken. police initially identified ryan as the killer unless nl she sent out tweets saying it wasn't me, i was at work all day. police are questioning wry ryian and his father at a new jersey police station and federal alths and state plus want to know why that young men was set off, what caused that and how and wen whe he accumulated such an arave weapons and ammunition. >> investigating the story, brian ross tonight. and of course, it is an incredibly somber task to talk to the families of the victims and one monsignor talked about
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how difficult it can be. >> the reality has set in that these 20 children are with the lord and taken too young and too innocent and we just told a little boy about his sister now, a and -- so sorry. a lot of these people are from our parish, which makes it pretty heavy for me, too, i baptized some of these children and they were getting ready for mirs communion. >> an entire community doing what it can tonight. still ahead on "world news," a question american families grappling with, how to talk to children about what happened. dr. richard besser to weigh in with the one thing that might help heal them, tonight. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news
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school. so we asked abc's chief medical editor, dr. richard besser, for a guide on what you say to your children. >> just as adults scrambled today to protect children, there are things you can do tonight to protect children from the vulnerable emotions from the tragedy affecting us all. how you do that will depend on their age. if your child is 7 or under and is sitting with you right now, my advice, let them go into another room. if they haven't heard about the shooting, they don't need to know about it. you know your child best. if they're between 7 and 12, talk to them about it. don't lie, don't evade, but tell them they're safe. something like this, where someone hurts a child in school, is so incredibly rare. it never happened to mom or dad or anyone we know. and the man who did it is gone now. it's over. ask how they feel about it. tell them it's okay to be sad, that you're sad. support whatever they feel and tell them that you'll keep them safe. but sharing extra hugs will have
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more effect on their body chemistry than asking over and over if they're all right. for teens, watch to see how they react. ask them to talk about it. you can use this to have a real conversation. why do they think it happened? you might want to direct them to some volunteer work, so they feel they can be working to improve things. for all kids, keep your routine. children are reassured if their world continues in a normal way. bedtime is bedtime tonight, basketball practice, it happens tomorrow. it shows them the world is still normal. if they want you to take them to school on monday, that's fine. but going back to school on monday proves to them that you're not worried, so they won't be. if you're a parent, this can be traumatic for you as well. reach out and ask for extra hugs, talk with your friends. you have to take care of yourself to be there for your children. >> tell us about the signs of something wrong, even if your child doesn't tell you. >> it's normal to have a stress reaction, a child who is not
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sleeping, not eating, who can't focus. a child who is hyperworried, they can't think about anything else, who's not able to return to normal activities after a week or two, they need to get special help. >> and don't assume because they say nothing they're not feeling something. >> that's right. >> thank you, rich. coming up, we kept hearing about the training the teachers received inside the sandy hook elementary school they never dreamed they would have to use it, but you're going to hear how they were trained and what they did today. [ male announcer ] this is bob, a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left.
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as we said, the teachers at the sandy hook elementary school had been trained to react to a threat, never expecting to use that training. abc's amy robach is with us now and she tells us what the training was and exactly what they did. amy? >> that's right, we're here at danbury hospital where the medical staff told us they thought it must have been a lot like 9/11 because they had their entire staff waiting here to receive the injured. only three arrived. the death count unimaginable, but as you mentioned, so many people are attributing that number to the heroic acts of teachers. if it weren't for their bravery, many in the community believe that number would have been even higher. >> reporter: for the nearly 700 students who attend sandy hook elementary school, it is the teachers' words they follow day in and day out. today, those words might have just saved their life. >> his teacher went and checked, locked and closed the door.
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they went into a corner until they were recovered by police. >> the teacher put them in the corner and they weren't allowed to move until the police came. >> this raunt restaurant has been serving pizza to sandy hook parents and teachers for more than 30 years. >> they're all heroes. >> it does sound that the teachers did everything humanly possible, down to risking their own lives to protect the children in this connecticut school. elementary schools across the country have been preparing for lockdown drills, evacuations, and other security measures since columbine. >> reporter: just this year, sandy hook put into place a security plan, making it mandatory for visitors to ring a do doorbell and only aloud in if staff recognized the visitor. and if staff didn't recognize the visitor, he or she needed to present picture i.d., sign in and only then would be let into the school. >> every time we went to the school, you had to press the button, they'd ask who you are to come in. i don't know how anybody could just walk in.
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>> this tweet from someone who knew teachers inside the school. >> hannah green, my cousin is the assistant principal and was shot twice, now in surgery. >> this face telling it all, this woman's sister, one of those teachers inside the school, her whereabouts unknown. >> there's no words that i could come up. you don't know the details of the violence and you can't do anything to immediately help them or protect them. that is a powerless and terrifying experience. >> reporter: speaking of powerless, i just spoke to one of the doctors here who was at danbury hospital when they received the initial call of multiple shots fired at the school. he amassed 80 doctors and nurses waiting to receive any potential victims and injured. within the first ten minutes, they got those initial three injured and they were waiting for more. they were told as many as two dozen they would receive. within 30 minutes when they didn't show up, that's when they
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felt the gravity of the situation because they knew they weren't coming, they were at the school and would stay there forever. it was a very disturbing moment for all of them. they said they're still going to be dealing with this obviously for months and years to come. this community is forever changed. no one here hasn't been touched by this horrific tragedy. >> and no one in the country, amy. thank you so much for reporting tonight. when we come back, we have been receiving incredible images from this day and we're going to show you some of the latest. that was me... the day i learned i had to start insulin for my type 2 diabetes. me... thinking my only option was the vial and syringe dad used.
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tonight, tragedy at the elementary school, a special "20/20" on abc. now, some of you will be leaving us, but others we hope you stay with us for more of our special one-hour of "world news." and a note about later, we'll be anchoring a one-hour special edition of "20/20," tragedy at the elementary school, 10:00 p.m. tonight. and now we want to leave you with some of those incredible images of this day, for those of you who will be with us again, we'll see you in a few minutes. for the rest of you, a good night.
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♪ ♪
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♪ >> from abc news, this is a special edition of "world news" with diane sawyer, tragedy at the elementary school. reporting from connecticut, diane sawyer. >> good evening, and we welcome you back to our special, one-hour edition of "world news," the tragedy at the elementary school in newtown, connecticut. early this morning a gunman opening fire at the elementary school, small children in the crossfire. families desperate for news of their children.

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC December 14, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. (2012) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 11, Abc 7, Diane Sawyer 4, Warfarin 3, Bob 3, Adam Lanza 3, Sandy 3, Unitedhealthcare 2, Levemir 2, Abc News 2, Dr. Richard Besser 2, Danbury 2, Newtown 2, Brian Ross 2, Levemir Flexpen 2, Gas 1, The Nation 1, One Phillips ' Colon Health Probiotic 1, Phillips 1, Amy Robach 1
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